Judy's Reviews > Sacred Hearts

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant
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's review
Jun 26, 2009

really liked it
Read in January, 2009

Today a woman can be single and have a career and a joyful life. During the Victorian era many a maiden aunt was taken in as helper in the homes of better off relatives. But in the 16th century, we find that many aristocratic Italian families, only being able to afford one dowry, would force one girl into marriage and dispatch the other young women to convents.

At first I found Sarah Dunant’s "Sacred Hearts" claustrophobic (it all takes place behind convent walls) and uninviting. I so enjoyed "In the Company of the Courtesan" that I was rooting for "Sacred Hearts" to unfold and wrap me up. And Dunant pulled it off!

Her novel – of convent politics, of trust and betrayal, of true believers and those who make the convent into the only life they can – slowly worked its way into my awareness. The protagonist is fairly interesting, and we wonder will she find a way to escape this life, or will she wind up being an anorexic religious zealot. But the women we really watch and question are Suora Zuana, the dispensary mistress and tender healer, and Madre Chiara, the abbess who makes convent politics into a blood sport.

Thank you, goodreads.com and Random House for including "Sacred Hearts" as part of the goodreads giveaway.
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Reading Progress

06/17 marked as: read

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message 1: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn Wilding Judy's review was very helpful

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